It has been raining, for more than a day, a nice, steady rain, soft and gentle, a healing rain after a long period of stress, weeks and weeks of drought, with strong dry winds and baking heat. The back of the heat has been broken with an almost shocking coolness, like a death after a long illness.
The suffering has ended. Transformation has come. The earth has come back to life–greener than green.
The hay in the field cut early from the wet, warm March begins to grow again. The trees, already fully leafed-out, have their bounce back; lost is the fragile brittleness that the stress of the heat had created. The baby vegetables that had slumped from the harsh winds are perked back up, ready to sprout the fruit and flowers for the coming harvest to sustain me as I heal.
For I have been injured too, by the death of my 13 year old Golden Retriever, Sunny. He was a good dog. Always happy to greet a newcomer. Bouncing with joy for any treat. Eager to be at my side. I will miss him.
And Jazzy too, who we lost last year, long before her time. She had been only seven and horribly sick for over a year when we finally ended her suffering.
Sunny seemed to suffer for only a day, a holiday when our vet was out of town. So I stayed by his side to offer what comfort I could.
Max is lonely now. He’s cousin of Jazzy’s who we rescued last year to help Sunny and me through our grief. No longer playful, Max huddles at my feet where ever I go in the house, struggling to please me in any way, his dark brown eyes sad.
I hope to stay near him as much as I can because, for the first time in almost thirty years, we will be a one-dog family. Max can still chase the cats about the house, but they cannot fill the hole that Sunny’s loss has created.
So we will mourn for a time and see if we can make due. Times are hard and traveling is on the horizon. Maybe next year we’ll think about getting another dog. Not now. Not yet.